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Art Conservation Flourishes Under Mellon Grant

Posted: September 9, 2010
Earlier this year, Buffalo State’s renowned Art Conservation Department successfully completed the match portion of its Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant. On Friday, September 10, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., a reception will celebrate this accomplishment and the department's graduating class.

The reception will be held on the lawn behind Rockwell Hall.

The $2.65 million secured through Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant is being used to fund an endowed chair in conservation science, expand research opportunities, and purchase leading-edge scientific instrumentation. All of this has strengthened the department’s reputation as a national leader in art conservation education.

In July, the department named Corina E. Rogge, Ph.D., as its new Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Conservation Science. A highly decorated young scientist, Rogge came to Buffalo State from Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she was the Wiess Instructor of Chemistry. Rogge earned both her doctoral and master of science degrees in chemistry from Yale University. She performed post-doctoral research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

“Corina Rogge is a wonderful addition to our world-renowned staff,” said Patrick Ravines, department director. “We are very appreciative of the continued support and generosity that allows us to expand our curriculum and the opportunities we provide our students.”

Ravines joined the department in July after serving as senior project conservator and research fellow at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

Support from the Mellon Foundation has been integral to the department’s recent growth. In 2006, the Foundation awarded $1.5 million to the college for endowment and $150,000 for scientific equipment, provided that Buffalo State could raise an additional $1 million in matching funds by March 2010. The Foundation also underwrote the salary for one department conservation scientist from 2003 to 2008.

“The successful completion of fundraising for this Mellon challenge grant is a good reason to celebrate widely with the alumni, colleagues, family, friends, supporters and many more contributors in this major accomplishment. This is wonderful recognition of the program’s growth and future,” Ravines said.

Foundations from the Western New York area contributed the majority of the matching funds for the latest Mellon award. The John R. Oishei Foundation and Samuel H. Kress Foundation donated $100,000 each, while additional gifts were provided by Fidelity Foundation, Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, Thaw Charitable Trust, Golden Artist Colors, Inc., Western New York Foundation, Ross B. Kenzie Family Foundation, Little-Kittinger Foundation, Mulroy Family Foundation, Max & Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, and numerous alumni and friends of the college. The National Endowment for the Humanities also generously contributed to the effort.

Mellon grant funds have allowed the department to purchase several advanced pieces of technology, including a Raman microscope, a RK250 microscope stage, and a Nicolet 6700 FT-IR spectrometer. Raman microspectroscopy has become one of the premier analytical techniques for the in situ, nondestructive study of artists’ materials. The microscope has diverse applications in both organic and inorganic materials science, and will be used by faculty scientists for teaching, treatment support, and expanded independent research opportunities.

The Art Conservation Department is one of the leading programs of its kind in North America. Accepting only 10 students a year, the competitive three-year graduate program trains conservators of fine art and material cultural heritage. Graduates can be found in the conservation labs of major institutions across the United States, including the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and the National Gallery of Art. The department is currently planning an expansion in Rockwell Hall, scheduled to be completed in 2012.

Related articles
Paintings Conservation Clinic (posted August 22, 2010)
Art Conservators from Leading Institutions On Campus (posted August 5, 2010)

http://www.buffalostate.edu/depts/artconservation/
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Phyllis Camesano, Public Relations Director | 7168784325 | camesapa@buffalostate.edu

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